Amtrak, NYC World Pride, 2019

Pride is one of life’s great experiences, but traveling to and from the celebrations isn’t always. Criss-crossing America for pride events during June and all summer long doesn’t have to be a costly, cramped nightmare.

Instead, ride to and from parades in the comfort with Amtrak. Not only is it a welcoming environment, but trains connect most major U.S. cities. Book early and save 20 percent — perfect for visiting the 2019 World Pride event in New York City or events anywhere else along the northeast corridor or really any service in the U.S.

Since Amtrak connects most major travel hubs directly or through connecting services, you could easily hit up one or several of the nation’s biggest Pride events and any other cities you’ve always wanted to visit on the way. Plus, you’ll have the chance to get in the mood, reading about our history or just chatting with fellow pride travelers.

If you’re hitting up Baltimore Pride June 15, get inspired beforehand by watching Baltimore icon John Water’s rock-and-roll civil rights comedy Hairspray — it’s set in Baltimore and has a timeless message and great music. If you want to stay close to the parade and festival, book a room in the Wilson House Bed & Breakfast or the Inn at the Colonnade Baltimore — they’re both comfy, affordably priced and just a short walk from the fun.

June 8 is Capital Pride and if you want to stay in style, check into the Kimpton Carlyle Hotel Dupont Circle or the Kimpton Mason & Rook Hotel — both have great bars and complimentary car service. While you’re traveling to the nation’s capital, savor the experience. Crack open a beer and sit back with some great literary fiction with a twist: We recommend Thomas Mallon’s Fellow Travelers or Robin Talley’s Pulp. Both are gay love stories infused with humor and D.C.-based political drama from the McCarthy era.

When the June 8 Boston Pride Parade takes over the streets of one of the oldest U.S. cities, you’ll want to be there. The Boxer Boston and the Ames Boston Hotel, two great chic hotels located in iconic historic buildings. For a fun read to pass the comfortable time on the train on the way there, check out Johnny Diaz’s Boston Boys Club, a modern tale of three friends looking for love amid the city’s bustling gay nightlife scene. The coffee and sandwiches in the café car will make a great light snack while downing this easy, fun read.

If you’re not going to NYC World Pride on Sunday, June 30, darling,  what are you doing? It’s just going to be possibly the biggest LGBTQ international event of all time with events all month and a million expected visitors. To get yourself in the mood while you’re on the train, watch the 1995 film Stonewall, a stylish retelling of the start of the uprising that kicked off the modern rights movement. Since the parade kicks off near Madison Square Park, stay in the nearby (and affordable) Freehand Hotel, which has two quality restaurants and several bars, including one on the rooftop.

The City of Brotherly Love celebrates pride on June 9, and if you want to take part, we suggest the charming Independent Hotel — it has free daily breakfast and a complimentary bottle of pride Prosecco when you check in. When you and your friends are chilling on the train ride there, watch From Zero to I Love You, a dramatic comedy about a Philadelphia man who can’t stop falling in love with married men. It’s an entertaining flick, but not something to emulate when you are in the actual city of love. Philly provides a beautiful backdrop to its unfolding love story. For a gritty, heartbreaking AIDS drama, check out, Philadelphia, starring Tom Hanks and Denzel Washington. You won’t be able to help appreciating how far we have come from those dark times.

Even when you’re all partied out after Pride ends (for this year at least), you can enjoy a comfy, rejuvenating cruise home with your friends afterward. Take your time snoozing, viewing the countryside, reveling in the post-pride moment with your fellow travelers. It’s a happy and relaxing way to unwind after letting your true colors shine, which, well, can be downright draining.

It’s been a long road towards equality for our community and for many, our journey is just beginning. Let Amtrak guide you towards new discoveries. Comfortable, friendly service will get you in the right frame of mind so you can see and do more while appreciating your people and spreading pride all around.

After all, the moments you spend getting to your destination matter as much as the destination itself.

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